This is the first time in the 13 years we have been camping in Pottsluck that we have stayed in one campground for more than five days. We are at Thousand Trails-Chesapeake near Gloucester, Virginia, one of our favorite campgrounds. We belong to Thousand Trails, a camping club, so get to stay here free but that is not why we like it. It is situated along the Piankatank River, a broad but relatively short river with its terminus in the Chesapeake Bay. The Piankatank would be tough to find on a map but it is between the York River to the south and the Rappahannock to the north. It is a tidal river and rather salty and at this time of year, about 85 degrees; almost too warm. The campground is large but with nice amenities like separate adult and kids pools, pickleball courts, mini-golf and a boat launch and two piers. It’s a big campground but nicely laid out. We have a full hook up with 50 amp service which you need if you have hot weather and have to run a lot of air conditioning. And believe me, it has been hot and humid here. Every day it is 90 degrees or above and very humid. There is a breeze on the river, generally, but some days, when there is no breeze, it is just like a steam bath.
There are no big towns on what they call the Northern Neck or the Middle Peninsula depending where you are. In fact, though we are only about 40 miles from the Norfolk/Hampton Roads area and about 50 miles from Richmond, Virginia, we might as well be on the moon. The towns are small but very old having been founded around 1651 or so. There are generations of watermen and farmers living here with vast fields of corn and soybeans blanketing the land and oyster beds, crab pots and fishing boats populating the rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Still, it is a distance to any food stores or other services but there are many many churches seemingly around every corner. The people are charming and personable here too. Everyone talks to you and we met some really interesting guys fishing at one of the local public boat launches; not catching a lot but enjoying their music and beer.
The kayaking is great here and we have launched from several of the local public boat ramps to travel along the river at different spots, both the fresh water source of the river to the salty tidal eastern terminus. Lovely estates are juxtaposed with old cabins needing a lot of work or perhaps just waiting to fall into the river. At the delta of the Rappahannock river and the Chesapeake, not too far away, the rich and famous dock their enormous yachts and sailboats in marinas that can accommodate even the largest vessel. Yet, the towns are small and still surrounded by fields with lovely old farmhouses next to double wide trailers.
We ate dinner in Urbanna, Virginia at the Urbanna Seafood Market and Restaurant. It is really more market than restaurant but the food was amazing. The oysters come from their own beds and are harvested daily. We had them raw and they were delicious; sweet, meaty and a little salty with shells that were almost convex rather than cupped. Their spicy tugboat dip was made from crab and shrimp and also great. Finally, we shared the catch of the day; seared Rockfish and it was the best I have ever had. The fish and oysters are caught daily and behind us on the deck where we ate, were the softshell crab troughs with circulating water. The staff harvests the softshell crabs as they shed their shells and ships them to market. Talk about fresh! We will be back to this place even though there was no air conditioning and just picnic tables. The food was worth it!!!